The Highlights of the Festival of Lights 2019

The Highlights of the Festival of Lights 2019

The Festival of Lights amazes me once more with how it manages to mobilize such a huge amount of Berliners to come out of the house at night to explore the city. If you walk along any of the trails of the festival you will encounter so many other people walking around discovering the many light art projections all over the city it feels like the night becomes day – and a busy one at that.

Until October 20th, 2019, every night from 19-23h you will be able to discover countless projections – many also animated with elaborate mappings that embrace the architecture and details – at various buildings in the city such as the TV tower, the Humboldt Forum, the Berliner Dom, several buildings around Bebelplatz, the Brandenburger Gate, the high rises at Potsdamer Platz, etc.

This year’s highlight was for sure the show at Brandenburger Gate about the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall. Also, the newly opened James-Simon-Gallery at Museumsisland has a particularly stunning projection that beautifully reflects in the water. Now enjoy some impressions of this year’s Festival of Lights.

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My Apocalypse Is Better Than Yours

My Apocalypse Is Better Than Yours

photo: Frank Sperling

Do you have a favorite apocalypse? Imagine you could choose between, team atomic war, team climate-catastrophe or team asteroid? Or would you then rather love a real biblical Armageddon-thingy with seven plagues and at least an obese woman pretending to be a dark messiah coming for us all? 

The newest dance performance light spectacle by Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends called no apocalypse not now at HAU 1 is bringing all the weirdest apocalypses to the stage you can imagine. From devastating no man’s land to a world who is formed by black bubbles floating around, the performance collective was able to create with a few simple ingredients a dark, humorous and enigmatic powerplay of images for the audience. 

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Explore the Virtual Worlds of the Fantastischen Vier with Magenta VR

Explore the Virtual Worlds of the Fantastischen Vier with Magenta VR

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In recent years, virtual reality has ceased to be an abstract concept and turned into a more and more accessible technology that is changing our everyday life. One of the big players in the field is Deutsche Telekom. Their Magenta VR app is proof that virtual reality is not only a great tool for entertainment and education, but also it can actually foster human connection. 

The visitors at Berlin’s IFA exhibition in September were the first to see Fantaventura – a groundbreaking VR experience featuring the German cult music group, Die Fantastischen Vier. This unique project, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the band, gives a brand new life to their popular song “Tag am Meer” and is exclusively available in a 360°-version in the Magenta VR App. From what we saw, the VR experience aesthetically resembles the classic music video for that song, so if you’ve ever enjoyed watching it, now you’ll have the chance to actually step inside it along with the musicians! 

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Berliner Wiese: CBD & Hemp Products from Berlin

Berliner Wiese: CBD & Hemp Products from Berlin

Turns out that despite our extensive city exploring, there is still one particular green area we’ve never written about. And that is Berliner Wiese – not a meadow in the literal sense, but surely a portal into a more plant-based lifestyle. Keep on reading to find out more about this Berlin-based grower, manufacturer, and distributor of CBD and hemp products. 

Berliner Wiese was founded by two Dennis and Julien – two Ur-Berliners who pride themselves on growing their business locally in an environmentally friendly way. As they explain: ‘’We feel sustainability and regionality are both very important. Almost all our products come from the vicinity of Berlin and are grown on organic farms.’’

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How it Feels to Run Your First Marathon in Berlin

How it Feels to Run Your First Marathon in Berlin

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After running his first marathon our guest writer Laurent sat down to share his experience at the run with us, as well as the program that Nike hosted in their Home of Running where he lead a panel talk with the founders of some of Berlin’s biggest running communities.

“Are you running the Berlin marathon?” This is probably the question I have been asked the most in the last 3 months. When you are a runner, running a marathon is already one big thing. Living in Berlin and running the Berlin Marathon is THE thing! 

This is not just another race. It is the race! It is incredible to see how the city changes from the week prior to this big event. Runners from all countries are invading the city and bring it to life in a different way! Streets, parks, cafés, runners are everywhere, getting their last kilometers before the big day! The atmosphere and enthusiasm around running have been growing so much in the past years. And Berlin has definitely played an enormous role in shaping the running culture. 

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How iHeartBerlin Reader Jacob Reduced His Illegally High Rent by 226 EUR

How iHeartBerlin Reader Jacob Reduced His Illegally High Rent by 226 EUR

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The topic of the rising rents in Berlin has been plaguing us for a few years now and it doesn’t seem to become any better with the shortage of available rooms and apartments becoming more severe over time. The situation has led greedy real estate companies to ignore legal rent regulations offering apartments for prices that only the wealthiest can afford. The “Mietpreisbremse” introduced a while ago was meant as a tool to stop landlords from overcharging. But the mechanism requires people to take action against it, no-one’s doing it for you.

A few months ago we took a closer look at what you can do if you think your rent is illegally high. Now that some time has passed we wanted to know: Does it actually work? We got in touch with one iHeartBerlin reader who actually went through the process with one of the options from the article: the consumer rights service wenigermiete.de. To our delight, he successfully managed to reduce his rent by 226 EUR. We met him in his apartment in Neukölln and talked with him about how that worked.

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The Story of the Berlin Wall Explained in One Big Comic

The Story of the Berlin Wall Explained in One Big Comic

illustrations: Sophia Halamoda. 

The history of the German division and the Berlin Wall is – to put it mildly – a rather complicated one. Especially since even today, 30 years later, it still feels the country has not completely recovered from it. I was only 7 when the wall came down so I feel my memory of life in the East is pretty much seen through the eyes of a child. I don’t remember life for my family being bad in any way, we were quite happy actually. There were a lot of things we didn’t have – but also we didn’t know about them, so we didn’t miss them.

But once the two German countries re-united, it did feel like something exciting and good was happening – at first. It took us all a while to understand what was really going on. On the surface, we were re-uniting but underneath it was more of a take-over. I don’t mean it in a hostile way, and I’m not blaming either side for what had happened. It is, as I said before, more complicated than that. But in the few decades, those two parts of Germany developed so differently under such different circumstances, that throwing them together again like that was just going to cause some collateral damage. If you only look at the election results or statistics such as unemployment rates you will see a country that is maybe not as united as it should be.

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Trainspotting Berlin: Morning Misery

Trainspotting Berlin: Morning Misery

Collecting small anecdotes of transitory moments.

One of those mornings. The night was too long, the alarm clock too early, the coffee too late—and three cups too little.

As I fall over my open shoelaces in the hallway, I do wonder if I should have called in sick.

On my way down the aggressive miniature dog of my second-floor neighbor greets me with noisy, squeaky barking and jumps right at my throat. My day hasn’t even properly started but my heart rate already reaches unhealthy heights and my mood hits a new low.

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A Leap of Faith with a Whole Lot of Glitter: A Story of Making it as an Artist in Berlin Today

A Leap of Faith with a Whole Lot of Glitter: A Story of Making it as an Artist in Berlin Today

photo: Nathan Thomas

What does it take to step into the art world of a city intimidatingly overflowing with non-appreciated creative potential?

iHeartBerlin writer Andy sat down with his friend Qeas Pirzad—scene-beloved socialite, out-and-proud Sagittarius, every dance floor’s favorite disco queen, and up-and-coming contemporary artist—to find out what that challenging path can be like.

The result is an intimate conversation—laying open the artist’s personal creative journey, venturing into the consequences of following your dreams, and the revelation that doing something out of the ‘Berlin box’, makes you even more ‘Berlin’ in the end.

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